GREEN ACTIONS The Seattle Mariners are green, and that is not a reference to all the rookies the team put on the field this year. At the start of the 2010 season, per city ordinance, the Mariners organization and its Safeco Field concessions contractor, Centerplate, converted all disposable serviceware to compostable products. Since 2007, when the Mariners began food-waste recycling, Cedar Grove Compost has hauled away all of Safeco Field’s compostables. The organization’s office paper is made from 100 percent recycled fiber. Ninety-seven percent of all custodial supplies used at Safeco Field are recognized as sustainable. And the Mariners are founding members of the Green Sports Alliance, a coalition of professional sports teams and sports venues leading the effort to get professional sports organizations to reduce their impact on the environment.
RESULTS Since 1996, the Mariners have saved more than $1 million in utility costs by reducing consumption of natural gas, electricity and water. Switching from disposable serviceware to compostable cups, spoons, forks and other products has helped boost the recycling rate at Safeco Field from 12 percent in 2005 to more than 70 percent in 2010. This endeavor diverted 829 tons from the waste stream last year alone, and reduced the team’s waste disposal costs by $72,000. The Green Sports Alliance marks the first environmental collaboration by teams in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer. Participating organizations are working with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Portland State University to adopt innovative initiatives and share information about environmentally aware stewardship opportunities.